I’m not quite sure what can be said about the Yankees offense that hasn’t already been repeated ad nauseum. It’s terrible and the it doesn’t give the team much of a chance to win. New York was again completely overmatched in their 5-2 loss to Athletics on Wednesday. Let’s recap:
- Hughesless: For the fifth time in 13 starts, Phil Hughes was unable to complete five innings of work. He walked a season-high five — previous high was two — in 4.1 innings as the Athletics fouled off pitch after pitch and worked deep count after deep count. Brandon Moss hit the #obligatoryhomer (two-run shot) and John Jaso chipped in an RBI double to account for the three runs. Hughes has morphed into A.J. Burnett this year, with a Good Phil and a Bad Phil. Good luck guessing which one shows up for a given start.
- Offense: Thanks to their token two runs on Wednesday night, the Yankees have now scored a dozen runs in their last 51 offensive innings. That dates back to the six-run inning against Aaron Harang in the series opener against the Mariners. If the Yankees offense was a pitcher, it would have a 2.12 ERA during that time. Mark Teixeira (sac fly) and Jayson Nix (ground ball single) accounted for the two runs, but otherwise they put just one other runner in scoring position. That man was stranded after pinch-hitter for the pinch-hitter Chris Stewart struck out to end the seventh. At one point A’s starter Dan Straily retired 15 of 16 batters faced. Not even competitive.
- Leftovers: Joba Chamberlain allowed two runs (Moss solo homer, Jaso single) in the eighth to effectively put the game to bed … Boone Logan walked his first left-handed batter of the year while Preston Claiborne walked his first batter overall. Had he survived the outing, he would have set a record for the most walk-less appearances to start a career in baseball history … the pitching staff allowed nine walks overall, which is crazy considering they came into the game with the lowest walk rate in the league … Brett Gardner‘s hitting streak ended at eight games with an 0-for-3 (plus a walk) … the entire offense for the game was four singles, two walks, and one hit batsman … for the first time since 2006, the Yankees have gone five straight games without hitting a homer. Embarrassing.
For the box score and video highlights, go to MLB.com. For the non-traditional stats, go to FanGraphs. For the updated standings, go to ESPN. The Orioles lost and the Red Sox beat the Rays, so the Yankees are two back of Boston, one up on Baltimore, and two up on Tampa in the loss column. Hiroki Kuroda gets the ball against Jarrod Parker in the series finale on Thursday afternoon.
Update: C J.R. Murphy was promoted to Triple-A Scranton following tonight’s game, reports Josh Norris. Only a matter of time now before C Gary Sanchez and C Peter O’Brien are promoted to Double-A Trenton and High-A Tampa, respectively.
VP of Baseball Ops Mark Newman confirmed to Chad Jennings that RHP Mark Montgomery is on the DL with a tired shoulder. He says it’s no big deal, but still. Never want to hear something is wrong with a pitcher’s shoulder. Meanwhile, UTIL Casey Stevenson has been promoted from High-A Tampa to Double-A Trenton according to Mike Ashmore. UTIL Kevin Mahoney was placed on the DL in a corresponding warm body move.
I don’t think I’ve updated the standings at all season, so let’s take care of that tonight.
Triple-A Scranton had a scheduled off-day. They’re 29-34 and 7.5 games back in the International League North Division.
Double-A Trenton (6-1 loss to Binghamton) 33-32 and 7.0 games back in the Eastern League East Division
- LF Ramon Flores: 1-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 BB, 2 K
- CF Slade Heathcott: 1-4
- RF Tyler Austin: 1-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 E (throwing) — modest five-game hitting streak
- C J.R. Murphy: 1-4, 1 K — eight hits in his last 46 at-bats (.174)
- LHP Matt Tracy: 2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1/3 GB/FB — 42 of 64 pitches were strikes (66%)
- LHP Francisco Rondon: 3.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 2/0 GB/FB — 39 of 61 pitches were strikes (64%) … best outing of the season by far
- RHP Tommy Kahnle: 1.1 IP, zeroes, 2 K, 2/0 GB/FB — 11 of 14 pitches were strikes (79%)
Unlike his rotation-mate CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes has some pretty good numbers in the various incarnations of the Coliseum in Oakland. Of course, this isn’t the same Athletics team he’s faced in recent years. This team can hit. The Yankees have very little chance of winning any game in which they get anything less than a solid pitching performance, so need Phil to keep the A’s in check long enough for the lineup to scratch some runs out against rookie righty Dan Straily. Here’s the starting nine:
- CF Brett Gardner
- 2B Robinson Cano
- 1B Mark Teixeira
- DH Travis Hafner
- LF Vernon Wells
- 3B Kevin Youkilis
- RF Ichiro Suzuki
- SS Jayson Nix
- C Austin Romine
And on the mound is the 23rd overall pick in the 2004 draft, right-hander Phil Hughes.
The weather in Oakland is fine, no concerns there. The game is scheduled to start a little after 10:05pm ET and can be seen on YES. Try to enjoy.
Can you believe that happened four years ago already? It feels like it was last week. I remember watching the ball get popped up and getting up off my couch assuming the game was over. I didn’t see the drop live, my eyes were off the television until I heard Michael Kay screaming “He dropped the ball! He dropped the ball!” What a crazy, crazy game. Happy birthday Luis Castillo’s drop, you turn four today.
Anyway, here is your open thread for the night, at least until the regular game thread comes along in a few hours. The Yankees don’t start until 10pm ET again. The Mets are playing the Cardinals (Gee vs. Miller), the Indians and Rangers will be on ESPN (Ubaldo vs. Tepesch), plus you’ve got Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals. Talk about any of those games here. Enjoy.
Tuesday: Change of plans. Pineda will instead throw a 75-pitch simulated game in Tampa on Friday instead of joining Double-A Trenton, the Yankees announced. They want him to stay in a controlled environment for whatever reason. Guessing that means they don’t think he’s ready to move up to a higher level just yet.
Monday: Via Ken Davidoff: Brian Cashman confirmed Michael Pineda will move up to Double-A Trenton for his next rehab start this Friday. He made his first minor league start with High-A Tampa over the weekend, but they’re off next weekend for the All-Star break. The Thunder will be on the road in Altoona unfortunately, so don’t plan that trip to Trenton to see Pineda pitch just yet. He still has another three or four rehab starts left after Friday, so I’m sure he’ll play at home eventually. · (9) ·
Earlier today we learned first round pick 3B Eric Jagielo and fourth round pick SS Tyler Wade had signed for straight slot bonuses, now here are some more updates on various Yankees draft picks (draft round in parenthesis):
- Fresno State OF Aaron Judge (1s) said he is “real confident” he will sign soon, according to Bryan Hoch. Judge took batting practice with the team yesterday in Oakland. Slot money for the 32nd overall pick is $1,677,100, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he took straight slot money like Jagielo.
- California HS LHP Ian Clarkin (1s) will travel to Tampa on Monday according to K. Levine-Flandrup, presumably to get his physical out of the way. The San Diego commit is slotted for a bit more than $1.65M, and I’m guessing he’ll sign close to the deadline for more than that.
- California HS SS Gosuke Katoh (2) will also travel to Tampa on Monday after graduating tomorrow, according to KL-F. Yesterday it was reported Katoh said he “should be a Yankee by next week.” Slot money is just under $846k, but I think he winds up with less.
- Texas HS OF Kendall Coleman (11) has agreed to terms pending a physical, reports KL-F. No word on the money yet, but every pick after the tenth round is slotted for $100k. Anything in excess of that counts against the draft pool. Coleman is a bat-first prospect with power from the left side.
- Hoch has a handful of late-round signings to pass along: San Diego State RHP Phil Walby (12), Sam Houston State LHP Caleb Smith (14), Northwest Mississippi JuCo CF Jordan Barnes (15), Kent State IF Derek Toadvine (22), Appalachian State RHP Sam Agnew-Wieland (24), Fresno State C Trent Garrison (28), and Appalachian State IF Hector Crespo (34). No word on the money for any of these, but it’s safe to assume it doesn’t exceed the $100k slot.
It’s been a long, long time since the Yankees drafted a college bat like Eric Jagielo. The Notre Dame third baseman is the first college position player they’ve selected in the first round since taking Florida State outfielder John Ford-Griffin — he was considered more of a second round talent because of injury concerns and a lack of power — with the 23rd overall pick in 2001. You have to go all the way back to Thurman Munson in 1968 for the last time the Yankees landed a slam dunk first round college bat.
Baseball America and Keith Law (subs. req’d) ranked Jagielo as the 16th and 26th best prospect in the draft in their final rankings, putting him firmly in the back-half of the first round mix. To get an idea of the skillset it takes to be considered a back-half of the first round college bat, here’s a snippet of Baseball America‘s pre-draft scouting report (subs. req’d):
He combines the ability to hit for power and average like few players available … He has shown more discipline, made more contact and done a better job of using the whole field. He now projects to hit for a solid average with at least plus power. While he’s a below-average runner and his agility and reactions still need improvement, scouts believe Jagielo will be able to stick at the hot corner. His actions, hands and arm all are fine for the position. He played all four corner positions for the Fighting Irish, not becoming a full-time third baseman until mid-2012.
Now here’s a piece of what Keith Law (subs. req’d) had to say:
Jagielo is one of the more polished college bats in the class, valuable even though he doesn’t have the explosive tools of Hunter Renfroe or huge raw power of Kris Bryant … In the field, he’s an adequate defender at third with arm strength, agile enough to stay at the position even though he’s going to be among the bigger third basemen in pro ball. I could see him as a 20-homer guy with mid-.300s OBPs who plays solid-average defense in a few years, which would make him an everyday guy who could make an All-Star Game or two.
By all accounts, or at least the accounts of people much more informed than me, Jagielo is a legitimate two-way player who projects to hit for average and power in addition to contributing on defense. Will he be Scott Rolen? No. Can he be an above-average third baseman in the big leagues? Sure, if he develops as expected. That part is always tricky.
Because it’s been so long since the Yankees drafted a college bat like Jagielo, I really have no idea how they will handle him now that he’s agreed to a straight slot signing bonus and is ready to begin his pro career. The easy answer is an assignment to Short Season Staten Island before starting next year with High-A Tampa and hopefully finishing it with Double-A Trenton, which was the path Griffin was on until being dealt to the Athletics in the three-way Jeff Weaver/Ted Lilly trade at the 2002 deadline.
Griffin’s career started more than a decade ago, however. The Yankees have changed development personnel and stuff since then, and Jagielo is a better pro prospect now than Griffin was then. There’s not a one-size-fits-all development plan for college bats, which is why I wonder if Jagielo’s polish could earn him an assignment to High-A Tampa this year — first a few days with the Rookie GCL Yanks (who play in Tampa) as a tune-up after not playing since late-May, then a move to Tampa where they conveniently lack an everyday third baseman. It would be a true fast track.
For what it’s worth, the Yankees assigned Rob Refsnyder, another polished college hitter, straight to Low-A Charleston after selecting him in the fifth round last year, so jumping a college bat over the short season leagues into full season ball right away isn’t something the organization is unwilling to do. My general rule of thumb is if you take a college hitter in the first round and can’t send him to High-A ball to start his first full season as a pro, you took the wrong guy. Jagielo can definitely start next year with Tampa, but I wonder if the Yankees like his bat enough and think he’s polished enough to make the jump right now rather than wait until next April, especially since he mashed with wood bats in the Cape Cod League last summer. We’ll have an answer relatively soon.
Via Jim Callis: The Yankees have signed fourth round pick Tyler Wade for a $371,300 bonus. That is exactly slot money for the 134th overall pick. Earlier this week we heard the high school shortstop from Southern California was on his way to Tampa, presumably for his physical.
Wade, 18, is a “is a live-bodied athlete with above-average speed … a handsy swing and a line-drive approach, and he could become an average hitter down the road” according to Baseball America (subs. req’d). They also say he “impressed with his defense at shortstop, showing enough range, actions and above-average arm strength to give him a chance to stick at the position.” Wade needs to add some muscle to his 6-foot-1, 175 lb. frame to avoid getting the bat knocked out of his hands by better fastballs, however.
Keep tabs on the team’s draft pool with our 2013 Draft Pool page. · (37) ·
2:06pm: The Yankees have announced the signing, so it’s a done deal. Jagielo came through the physical fine and his contract is official.
11:31am: Via Jim Callis: The Yankees and first round pick Eric Jagielo have agreed to a $1,839,400 signing bonus, which is exactly slot for the 26th overall pick. Yesterday we heard the Notre Dame third baseman was already in Tampa, presumably to take his physical. The contract is not official yet, but it shouldn’t be long before it’s done.
Jagielo, who just turned 21 last month, hit .388/.500/.633 with nine homers and more walks (35) than strikeouts (33) in 56 games for the Fighting Irish this spring. The book on him is that he’s a left-handed hitter who projects to hit for both power and average at the next level while sticking at the hot corner. He has experience at first base and in the corner outfield spots as well, but they are fallback options at this point. I assume Jagielo will begin his pro career with Short Season Staten Island when the season starts next week.
Keep tabs on the team’s draft pool with our 2013 Draft Pool page. · (55) ·
You may have seen him play back in the ’70s or early 80′s. Chances are, you most certainly have heard him on the YES network. Please welcome Ken Singleton!
Matt Warden: Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with me! I know everyone here at River Ave Blues will be thrilled!
Ken Singleton: Sure thing. I always enjoy talking baseball.
MW: Alright, great, let’s get started with this. I was checking out some of your career stats on Baseball-Reference.com. I noticed you spent time with the Mets, Expos, and Orioles. One team was conspicuously not on that list. How’d you wind up announcing for the Yankees?
KS: That’s a very interesting question. I was working with the Expos doing their radio and TV games. Mike McCarthy was the executive producer for the Yankees on MSG. I noticed that whenever we came to NY, he would sit in the back of the booth and not say very much. When the time came for me to leave the Expos he wanted me to work for MSG.
He paired me with Jim Kaat. We were supposed to do a demo tape of three innings of the World Series. After about one inning, he said that was enough and that we were a perfect fit, so he had to pitch it to George Steinbrenner down in Tampa. When I met George, I would say he wasn’t completely enthusiastic about the idea since I had never played for the Yankees. I remember his own words were, “Our fans aren’t going to like you because of all the bad things you used to do to us.” [Laughs] I explained to him I was only doing my job and he responded that I had done it very well which I took as a compliment. But I still wasn’t sure.
I went home to talk to my wife about the interview. One thing that George knew though, was that I was originally from New York so I guess he took that into consideration. I ended up getting the job and 17 years later, I’m still here. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. The Yankees have been great whether with MSG or with YES. I’ve always said that outside of playing, this is the best job you could have. It’s worked out really well.
MW: Commentating for the Yankees is one thing. Playing for them is another thing altogether. Do you think you would thrived as a player under George Steinbrenner’s regime?
KS: You know what, I don’t know. I’m not sure. I mean if other guys could do it, I’m sure I could have too. There were some very good teams in those days. Of course, we were one of their rivals as George pointed out. Yeah, I could see where he was very demanding. That first year, doing the games on TV for New York, I just did what I had always done. I prepared just as I had in the past as player. George never said anything bad about it and I’ve gotten a lot of favorable feedback around the city. I think I would have fit in fine as a player because I would have prepared well and then I would have gone out and done my job.
MW: Do you feel that some players tend to fit in better in New York than others? Is the NY media lime light overstated sometimes?
KS: I think there is something to that. With all the media attention, there are certain players that handle it better than others. You see it from time to time — players that have done well, and others who come to NY and don’t do quite as well. There are writers and opinions everywhere. It does happen. You need to have a thick skin. You need to go out there and do your job as best as possible and let things fall where they may. For me, personally, having grown up in NY, I knew what to expect as a visitor. That’s just how it is. It can be a demanding place. I’ve mentioned on the air that NY isn’t just competing against everyone else, but their own history as well. And their history is unmatched.